back to article Cock fight? Not half. Microsoft beats down Apple in Q1

Microsoft won bragging rights over Apple in Britain’s biz slab sales stakes following the first full quarter the two rivals went head to head with their Pro devices. The iPad Pro, released in last October, sold 107,000 units in the UK in Q1 versus 275,000 Surface Pro devices, which was up on the 83,000 units Microsoft flogged …

  1. Anonymous Coward

    We're past peak APPL

    APPL share price down 10% since 1st Jan

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We're past peak APPL

      A lot of people said we hit peak Apple back in fall 2012, when the price dropped almost 45% in the following nine months. But then it gained it all back and last summer peaked over 30% higher than the 2012 peak. The drop from that new peak of 132 to its low of 90 a couple weeks back is almost identical to the previous 45% drop. Given its very low P/E versus the rest of the tech world there's plenty of room to grow - it is certainly possible it might peak even higher someday.

      So far we've had exactly one quarter where iPhones sales dropped year over year. Assuming that holds true for this quarter and the next, all that says is that there was a ton of pent up demand for a larger iPhone that caused a big spike in sales for the 6 that they may never be able to match unless a similar "must have" feature is added. There's no indication that year over year sales drops will become a regular thing, more that they're leveling off at a pace a little slower than the red hot sales pace of the 6.

      1. Surur

        Re: We're past peak APPL

        No indication except for that happening to the iPad, showing Apple is not invulnerable.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: We're past peak APPL

          I never said they were invulnerable, and the iPad is a small percentage of Apple's overall sales. Most everyone in richer countries considers a smartphone a necessity, few feel that way about tablets.

  2. Bob Vistakin

    The majestic sweep of the arm never gets old

    Does it run Internet Explorer yet?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Why are iPad minis being used in education? I have a nasty suspicion that the reasons aren't pedagogical.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Education

      >Why are iPad minis being used in education?

      1. VPP and the superior range of apps/iBooks

      2. Apple School Manager

      3. Classroom (it's an App).

      4. Shared iPad

      5. Accessibility - it's the de facto standard mobile platform for SEND

      Google had a half-hearted go with the Google Education programme but too little too late, MS are nowhere.

      1. martinusher Silver badge

        Re: Education

        I know why Apple sells to education, they've always done it, but what they're selling may not necessarily be what people need. My wife's experience was that injecting iPads into the classroom rendered all her science applications and hardware like the shared printer unusable. Obviously given the budget and time all this could be replaced by appropriate apple hardware but ultimately it was a triumph of marketing over usability. Again.

        I suspect the SurfacePro is outselling the Apple iPad pro because its just a better machine. The Surface does everything a tablet can do but its also basically a PC so that you don't have to dump all your existing applications.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Education

        "MS are nowhere."

        Every school round here has Windows PCs and laptops. Not an Apple in sight.

        1. TVU

          Re: Education

          "Every school round here has Windows PCs and laptops. Not an Apple in sight."

          From the reports I have read, Chromebooks appear to be doing very well in the USA in schools (including directly replacing iPads) and they are being used by an increasing number of British primary and secondary schools.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Education

          >Every school round here has Windows PCs and laptops. Not an Apple in sight.

          How do you know what 'every school round here' is doing and where is here?

          In most schools shared iPads supplement the Windows PCs in IT suites - they serve very different purposes and are 1000x less cumbersome to manage than the shared laptop model which preceded them and failed very expensively. Across music education nationally OSX is dominant and has been for years now.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Education

          "Every school round here has Windows PCs and laptops."

          Idiots. I've set up a few schools where I've replaced all Windows gear with a combination of Apple kit and Chromebooks and the support calls have dropped by an order of magnitude. We're talking from daily phone calls to a single call a year, and feedback from staff is unanimously positive.

    2. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Education

      indeed ANY tablet is a bad idea for most subjects currently:

      Too many distractions

      Poor applications

      Even laptops etc are bad in the class room in MOST subjects.

      Loads of surveys showing it makes performance worse. Kids not paying attention to Teacher and rubbish courseware.

      1. d3vy

        Re: Education

        Do you have links to any of these studies?

  4. tiggity Silver badge

    2 big hassles of the iPad Pro (ignoring the price)

    1. Lack of connections - a lightning connector only, so PITA if someone has a USB drive they wnat to copy data to / from iPad.

    2. Pretentions to be a "computer" but a mobile OS and all those deliberate restrictions e.g. no file / network explorer tools (had a quick browse on app store and none of those I looked at that offered try before buy, seemed much good either)

    I'm no fan of MS / Windows, but if you wanted to do productive "real computing" tablet then a Surface would be more appropriate for your average user, and if just "playing" then a cheap android saves much cash & plays videos, music, lets you play mindless games, do youtube, web etc.

    Caveat - I do not own iPad Pro - just had misfortune of relatives wanting help with trying to be productive with them, to be met with me saying I know nothing about them, I'll have a quick look but not promising much as it's not what I would have recommended

    1. Doug Petrosky 1

      Disagree with some of this

      A simple cable can allow access to data on flash drives so that's not a huge issue, not to mention that with services like dropbox, iCloud, OneDrive etc. Flash drives are starting to look more and more like floppy disks.

      As for pretending to be a computer? It is absolutely a computer, just not a mac or windows computer. And yes the file system is intended to be simplified and connected to it's apps but again all of the web connected files and in standard file systems so maybe you need to be more specific about how this is a hindrance. Conveniences like AirDrop make it easy to pass files from one device to another and the recent updates to iOS 9 like "Shared iPad" allow for students to access all of their files easily from a simple login.

      I'm not going to argue that there are no benefits to Surface tablets having access to all of the legacy software of windows but it should be stated that much of that software is frustrating to work on a small touch screen because that was not how it was designed. By comparison, the iWork suite of Applications are a joy to work with in a touch interface as are most of the applications that were designed for iPad and there are a huge number of them and the number is growing at an amazing rate. To dismiss this with "mindless games" and "youtube" is ignorance! You can check out The Elements or Human Anatomy Atlas - 3D just to name a couple great ones.

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: Disagree with some of this

        "A simple cable can allow access to data on flash drives so that's not a huge issue"

        It bloody well is! WTF? Why should you need any accessories (at extra cost, and something you have to remember and carry with you) to access data stored on devices that practically every other machine in the world will do for free?

        Sadly Apple's bloody-mindedness to go their own way and to deliberately avoid compatibility is a good reason not to pay the premium. Sure they have some advantages over a Windows or Android machine in UI and lack of such obvious data slurping but I have been at too many meetings & presentations where half of the folk arrived with thunderbolt-only machines and no adaptor then looks all upset that the room "only" had VGA, DVI and HDMI support. And of course they could not even pass the martial over on a USB stick, that was available, for the same sort of reason.

        MS deserve a bollocking as well though, as the Mac versions of Office are not compatible fully with Windows. Have you tried equations in Powerpoint? Or having equation objects in word (the sane to edit option, as older versions of word used)? A pox on them all! :(

  5. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Numbers basis?

    How do they compile numbers for the I-Pad Pro when Apple sells so many of them directly? Or did Apple release them in such detail.

    I think that the numbers are pretty impressive for Apple. The Surface Pro is a very nice piece of kit but it is also a drop-in replacement for a PC, which the I-Pad very much isn't. While I would have though that the majority of I-Pad Pros sold would be to hipsters and existing well-heeled I-Pad owners, if there is any migration from desktop to I-Pad then Apple will be very happy.

    Device management is now sorted but for many workplaces there major headache is related to the software. Some stuff can go in the browser, some stuff might work well in a Citrix session, but other stuff will need to be "appified" (I think I'll have to give myself ten lashes for that). So, is the tie-up with SAP more than hot air?

    1. Naselus

      Re: Numbers basis?

      "While I would have though that the majority of I-Pad Pros sold would be to hipsters and existing well-heeled I-Pad owners"

      You're probably right about that. Unfortunately, Apple were very definitely trying to position the iPad Pro as a business device and direct competitor to the Surface, despite the fact that it's horribly unsuited to it for lots of reasons, so they won't be happy with just luring existing iPad users over - this was meant to be a major crossover device to re-open up the lucrative commercial market for Apple. It's pretty much failed to do that and just ended up being an iPad + version for the particularly well-to-do consumer.

  6. Old Buccaneer

    @ tiggity all hail the successor to the great IKABAI-SITAL.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "all hail the successor to the great IKABAI-SITAL"


  7. forger

    Schools and iPads

    My wife is a Primary School teacher here in the UK. The ex-head ordered two iPads per class but they had no pencils, rubbers or pritt sticks. When he left they discovered £200K unspent in the budget. Clearly a genius. He's probably got an MBA. I pity the school he went to.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Schools and iPads

      Why was the head doing this? They usually have a staff member to look after the numbers and board of governors to oversee it. What were the governors doing? Meeting down the pub and having a laugh? Ofsted are pretty quick to call out weak governors.

  8. rocwurst

    Not counting all the iPads.

    Worldwide Apple sold 50% more iPad Pros (just one model of Apple's iPad range) than Microsoft sold of every model of Surface put together according to IDC.

    When you count all iPads, Apple sold literally 10x as many iPads as Microsoft sold Surface tablets last quarter.

    For some reason this article seems to think that Apple's other iPad models aren't used in Business which is of course completely false.

    Citrix reports iOS has 64% Business market share worldwide.

    No, the fact of the matter is that Apple has decimated Microsoft in the tablet and mobile worlds in business as well as in the consumer market.

    1. Cheesenough

      Re: Not counting all the iPads.

      That's interesting, but the point the article makes is that in the business sector in the UK Microsoft sold more Surface Pros that Apple sold iPad Pros.

      1. rocwurst

        Re: Not counting all the iPads.

        And my point is that is a pointless comparison when Business also buys far more iPads than just iPad Pros.

        It reminds me of back when Microsoft tried to say the Zune was the number one 30GB HDD based media player in the world and conveniently ignored the vast numbers of other models of iPods that Apple sold which together completely overwhelmed total Zune sales.

        How history repeats itself.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not counting all the iPads.

          So your a long time APPL apologist then?

          This time 1 year ago - APPL share price was $130 - today it is $95

          I'm not sure the market shares your enthusiasm about the results, or the future outlook for APPL.

          Peak APPL indeed

          1. Mikel

            Re: Peak AAPL

            Sounds to me like AAPL is on sale for 30% off again, for a limited time only.

          2. gnasher729 Silver badge

            Re: Not counting all the iPads.

            You bloody idiot, APPL went out of business 20 years ago.

            AAPL on the other hand goes up and down all the time, and long term it goes up. If you don't believe it, go short on AAPL.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Not counting all the iPads.

              Wow - touchy. A "bloody idiot" for making a typo?

              All companies stock goes up long term - that is until it doesn't.

              Apple may well have "the next big thing" in development, or it may be just defending its existing markets where its first-mover advantage is spent, and there are (arguably) better/cheaper alternatives at all price points. Only time will tell, but the stock price is a general indicator of where on that spectrum Apple investor sentiments lie, and confidence in the former scenario is obviously declining.

          3. rocwurst

            Re: Not counting all the iPads.

            What makes you think I care a whit about the stock market? I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole - too much like gambling for my liking.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Not counting all the iPads.

            >So your a long time APPL apologist then?

            >This time 1 year ago - APPL share price was $130 - today it is $95

            >I'm not sure the market shares your enthusiasm about the results, or the future

            Perhaps he bought his in late 2000 when they were 98 cents?

        2. sabroni Silver badge

          Re my point is that is a pointless comparison

          It sounds to me like your point is that the iPad pro is a pointless product that business doesn't want. Like the article says...

          1. rocwurst

            Re: Re my point is that is a pointless comparison

            Considering Apple sold more iPad Pros worldwide than MS sold of every model of Surface tablet according to IDC (50% more in fact), I'm not sure why you would think it was a "pointless product"?

    2. d3vy

      Re: Not counting all the iPads.

      If you're going to count all iOS tablets then you must also include all windows tablets... and that changes things a bit.

      As for your point.. the article was about both companies PRO tablets. So yes one specific model vs another. Which is why surface book sales were not included despite the fact it's basically a surface pro 4.

      1. rocwurst

        Re: Not counting all the iPads.

        Counting all Windows tablets still leaves Apple with by far the most sales.

        IDC reports: "Released in November, the iPad Pro sold more than 2 million units in the fourth quarter, while Microsoft sold about 1.6 million Surface devices, most of them the high-end Surface Pro and not the entry-level Surface 3 device, said Jean Philippe Bouchard, IDC’s research director for tablets, in a news release this morning. The research firm said the iPad Pro was the top-selling tablet in the category known as detachable."

        In contrast, Apple sold 16.1 million iPads that quarter leaving the rest of the Windows tablet segment for dead.

        1. d3vy

          Re: Not counting all the iPads.

          My point was that there are other windows tablets not made by Microsoft available.

          My second point was that the article was talking exclusively about the PRO line of products.

          1. rocwurst

            Re: Not counting all the iPads.

            >"My point was that there are other windows tablets not made by Microsoft available."

            Yes, and I've demonstrated that they don't change the fact of Apple's dominance in tablets against Microsoft.

            >"My second point was that the article was talking exclusively about the PRO line of products."

            And my point is that the difference between Microsoft's PRO tablets and their cheaper line is a completely different OS which can run desktop Windows apps. In contrast, Apple's iPad Pro and the iPad Air and Mini all run the same OS, can run the same apps and can all use external keyboards. The only real difference is the stylus.

            As such, Apple's whole iPad line are just as "PRO" as the iPad Pro and show up silly comparisons where people try to exclude the bulk of Apple's tablet line to try and get a win for Microsoft somehow, as a complete farce.

            As ridiculous as saying the Zune was doing well because it maybe sold as many units as one small segment of the iPod range.

  9. djstardust

    Maybe if the ipad Pro

    Didn't look like it was stuck in accessibility mode for blind people it would sell more.

    The icon spacing is ridiculous and it's such a waste of a huge desktop,

    Apple just amaze me with their stupidity sometimes. Adding "Pro" to an item doesn't necessarily make it better.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Maybe if the ipad Pro

      No, adding "i" to it does.

      (At a loss for which joke iCon to use, but settled for the obvious troll...)

  10. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Well Doh!

    Given the large amount of TV and other advertising that MS has put out since the turn of the year, I'd be very worried if the Surface didn't out sell the iPad.

  11. Youngdog

    (sigh) Microsoft have made a good product

    Got hold of my firms Win10 RC and tried it on a gen 1 Surface Pro some high-band early, early 8.1 adopter had tossed aside. Worked a treat. Does 90% of what I need and runs on an enterprise platform without breaking a sweat. They could sell millions.

  12. DerekCurrie

    A partial quarter does not a whole quarter make. And...

    ...What's so 'Pro' about a Surface Pro? The iPad Pro is the actual Pro device. And that stick thing for it is called a 'Pencil', not a 'pen'. It helps to know the hardware you're discussing.

    CU next quarter. Then we'll talk.

    1. Grease Monkey Silver badge

      Re: A partial quarter does not a whole quarter make. And...

      Call it a pen, pencil our stylus. It still breaks Jobs' rule and if the lukewarm sales are anything to go by it looks like Steve was right.

      1. rocwurst

        Re: A partial quarter does not a whole quarter make. And...

        So, selling more iPad Pro's worldwide than al Microsoft tablet models put together is "lukewarm sales"?


  13. Sean Timarco Baggaley

    Apple vs. Oranges

    "Apple are DOOMED!" pieces have been making the same regular (and, if history is any guide, wildly inaccurate) predictions since long before Steve Jobs returned to Apple. Hell, idiots pundits were saying much the same thing even during the 1980s. They have yet to be proved right. Or fired for their incompetence.

    As others have pointed out, Apple aren't about to go bust with their iPad products. Their sales are slowing down, yes, but the sales graph is still pointing up. Just not as sharply as the near-vertical line they started out with. This is part of the normal cycle for any product category: create a market; sell the product like hot cakes; the market saturates; look for unsaturated markets and / or create new markets with new products. Hence all the interest in India and China.

    I'm not sure which barrel all these pundits were scraped our of, but few show signs of having passed a Commerce 'O' Level, let alone an MBA.

    Perhaps the iPad Pros have done rather poorly in the UK because – get this – Apple only offers a US Keyboard Cover, not a UK one?

    I'm platform-neutral. I'm old enough to have owned and programmed on the Sinclair ZX81. I learned a long, long time ago that there is no "best", only the "least shite for the task at hand, for now". I currently own a Surface Pro 2, a Surface 3, and a MacBook Pro (2010 model, so getting on a bit). I've owned a couple of iPads and an iPhone 4 too.

    The Surface range are eating the old laptop PC market's lunch, much as the traditional laptop overtook the even more traditional tower-case PC. Like all personal computers (and every other consumer electronics device), they're an inherently compromised design. But here's the key point: they're compromised in a different way to Apple's products.

    The Surface range's design makes them a great fit for corporate and enterprise markets, which are Microsoft's bread and butter.

    Apple's equivalent markets are the consumer and, in some fields, prosumer markets. There is some overlap – professional graphic designers and videographers are also businesses – but nowhere near as much as the media are suggesting.

    The media love telling stories and projecting their own narratives, and everyone knows a good story requires conflict. The media have been implying conflict between Apple and Microsoft for years, and it was true for a very long time. Unfortunately, it's not true now. The real battle today is a generational one: both Apple and Microsoft are children of the 1970s. Their rivals are a lot younger, hungrier, and more ruthless too.

    While Apple and Microsoft aren't exactly tap-dancing arm in arm down the street, gazing longingly into each others' eyes while singing show tunes, their old rivalry has been reduced to the wisecracks and light bickering of a Cary Grant movie. They have more important enemies to fight now.

  14. Grease Monkey Silver badge

    Although customers are sometimes sold on the fact that the Microsoft product will integrate better with their existing infrastructure, there is another possible related reason. Apple have spent billions on advertising themselves as a lifestyle product. In this particular market sector that's hurting them, customers see Microsoft as a business product and Apple as a fashion product.

    1. rocwurst

      And yet Apple dominates Business mobile

      Citrix reports iOS has 64% Business market share worldwide.

      Good Technology reports that Apple captured 72% of global Mobile Enterprise device activations in Q1 2015 with Android on 26%.

      Egnyte reported that Apple's worldwide iOS mobile business market share increased from 69% to 78% in 2013 while Android declined from 30% the previous year to only 22%.

      Intermedia's Mobile Trends Report shows that Apple’s share of Small to Medium Business has increased from 65% in 2011 to 68% in 2014. Android languishes on 26%.

      So much for Apple being a "fashion product".

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